Introduction: Stripboard Track Cutter

Picture of Stripboard Track Cutter
This is a homemade stripboard cutter. I already have a commercial stripboard cutter, so why make another? My commercial cutter is really horrible to use, the handle is tiny, uncomfortable, and the cutter isn't nearly sharp enough. This makes it frustrating to use. My homemade version is bigger and sharper, it's now a pleasure to use! The larger handle and sharp blade mean it takes no effort to cut the tracks in the right places. What is a stipboard cutter ? It's a tool for cutting the tracks on a prototybe board to disconnect parts of the circuit that shouldn't be connected.

This tool won't take more than 15 minutes to make.

You'll need :
  • A wooden handle or a stick to carve your own from (I used a branch out of the garden)
  • 4mm drill bit (new and sharp is best). This will form the cutter.
  • 3.2mm drill bit.
  • Sandpaper if you're carving your own handle.

Steps to make this:
  1. Find or carve a suitable handle.
  2. Drill a 3.2 mm hole in the handle for the 4mm drill bit.
  3. Push the 4mm drill bit into the handle, this will take a little force, it should be a tight fit.
  4. Apply a finish to the handle such as linseed oil or varnish.
  5. Test it out!


rimar2000 (author)2012-08-12

Very clever solution!

scraptopower (author)rimar20002012-08-12


thegrendel (author)2016-01-07

A simple and elegant solution. Stripboard is a cheap and efficient way of putting together densely populated circuits, and this project is a useful addition to the toolbox.


Uggy made it! (author)2015-10-23


Thank's for the idea.

I used a 4mm drill from banggood (around 1€ shipping inc.) and an old pen.

Glued together with epoxy.

I can "push" and turn with same hand.

Perfect cutting of the trace :)


UncleEd (author)2015-06-21

Some of us are in the USA and have fractional Imperial measurements for our drills. A 5/32 in drill is about 0.03% smaller than 4mm, so we won't need to make a trip to the hardware store to get the exact bit specified.

Thanks for the instructable.

NeilK3 made it! (author)2015-06-13

Very nice tip. I found inserting the drill bit to be easier if I made the whole larger and inserted super-glue (cyano acrylate) into the hole before inserting the bit. The bit then becomes rock solid.

abuhafss (author)2014-12-17

Simply splendid.

shedboy71 (author)2013-12-29

Nicely done, I've used this idea for years without the handle, mainly because I'm a cheapskate and don't want to pay for a stripboard cutter.

Chitlange Sahas (author)2013-11-06

Useful, good

pfred2 (author)2013-02-21

Mo bigger, mo betterer! I would think a little chisel the right width might work well too.

Superbender (author)2013-01-03

I made one and I love it. Great idea.

Josehf Murchison (author)2012-09-01

I use a drill chuck from an old drill for this and I can chainge the bit if I want to enlarge the holes to fit components or screws.

floxin (author)2012-08-26

Add comment to comment. After you finished using the tool (which is excellent) look at the tracks you just finished cutting, using a magnifying glass. You are bound to see some copper "curlies" still hanging on. With a little bad luck you get a short and ruin a valuable project. Solution: deburr with a medium or hard old toothbrush. Do not use tweezers because you risk ungluing and removing more copper foil than what you need. And now a question. If you cut a wooden cylinder with a band or circular saw you get a perfect circle perpendicular to the axis of the cylinder (think of perfectly round and evenly thick salami slices).
Who can suggest a guide to achieve the same with a hand saw on a bench?
Thank you,

scraptopower (author)floxin2012-08-26

Thanks for your helpful tips!

floxin (author)2012-08-26

Don't tell your wife. Chop off a few top inches of one the house broomsticks. Already smooth wood and rounded end for your palm.

Insonicbloom (author)2012-08-19

I have that Farnell one - it is terrible, this is definitely something I'll be making today. Incidentally if you want some Stripboard Projects head over HERE

Radioactive_Legos (author)2012-08-12

Great idea! Now you've got me thinking of a way to make one that doesn't eliminate a hole.. that would be cool!

fred27 (author)Radioactive_Legos2012-08-12

It's possible to make 2 cuts with a sharp blade between adjacent holes and then carefully remove a narrow strip of copper. Not quick or easy though.

Radioactive_Legos (author)fred272012-08-12

Yeah, I've done that before, but I'm trying to figure out a way of doing it with one swift movement.. hmm...

Try a cuticle cutter...

fred27 (author)2012-08-12

Nice. I also made my own by taking an old small (but comfortable) flat blade screwdriver and filing it to a suitable sharpened point. It looked a lot like the one you didn't get on with, but I liked it.

Jayefuu (author)2012-08-12

Excellent and easy solution. I hate those commercial ones.

About This Instructable



Bio: Scrap To Power - check out my website for more projects
More by scraptopower:Thermoelectric USB charger - off grid electricity.Tetra Pak Bird Box Idea.Stripboard track cutter
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